Years ago, arthritis was considered an inherent part of the ageing process and a signal to a patient that it’s time to slow down, but not so anymore. Recent research and clinical findings show that there is much more to life for arthritis patients than the traditional recommendation of bed rest and drug therapy.
There are 2 common types of arthritis your foot can incur. They are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis is the regression of cartilages in the joints and the surrounding bones, commonly experienced by middle-aged people and older. It causes pain and stiffness in the ankle, toes, and foot arch.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease (sometimes even chronic) leading to inflammation of the joints which will result in painful deformity and immobility affecting the toes, ankles, and foot.
There are many things a podiatrist can do to help people with arthritis including:
- Assessment of the feet and advice about strategies for managing the condition.
- Advice about the types of shoes most suitable for the activity and the foot shape.
- Removal or reduction of the hard skin that may develop on toes or under the foot as a result of joint changes. They can also use different methods to protect the areas and prevent recurrence.
- Treating nails which have become thickened and difficult to cut.
- Prescription of orthoses or shoe inserts. As part of a consultation, the podiatrist will assess the person’s feet and way of walking and prescribe the orthoses most appropriate for the type of problem the person has.
You are often told you must live with arthritis, but that does not mean that you have to stop living. You should take an active part in your treatment. Seek treatment for arthritis as early as possible to help control pain and reduce damage to joints. Remember, if you have questions about the need for a test or the risks or benefits of your treatment, ask your podiatrist. Even with the best of treatment, arthritis of the foot and ankle may continue to cause you pain or changes in your activities. However, proper diagnosis and treatment will help to minimise these limitations and allow you to lead a productive, active lifestyle.
Do you have arthritis in your feet and lower limbs? Have you been regularly advised that the only way for your arthritis to get better is to take pain medication and just simply deal with it? Worry no more!
We regularly assess and treat these conditions to assist our patients to achieve an active and comfortable lifestyle. The options and treatment decisions are subject to the stage and severity of arthritis and the affected joint. We can directly refer for X-ray or ultrasound which can be partially claimed from your health insurance.
We can assist you so you can move your feet and lower limbs better. We can help you increase the life span of your joints and reduce the pain associated with arthritis. We often see people who come to us for relief with their knee arthritis or big toe joint arthritis. Note, however, that any joint can be affected by arthritis.
The Penrith Physiotherapy & Allied Health Centre team of podiatrists has more than many years of combined experience to precisely assess and diagnose your condition. We have state-of-the-art 3D foot imaging laser scanner and computerised pressure plate system which we utilise to assess conditions and make the right orthotics when required.